Skip to main content

Chase Madar on Samantha Power

A recent episode of Chapo Trap House featured Chase Madar, a civil rights attorney in New York. Here's an excerpt dealing with Samantha Power's Pulitzer Prize-winning book A Problem from Hell. This starts at about 20 minutes in:



MADAR: It's a 600-page book subtitled "America and the Age of Genocide." And what's most striking about it is really what's not in this 600-page book — again, subtitled "America and the Age of Genocide." Those postwar genocides that the US had some kind of hand in — supplying intelligence, condoning, complicity — are airbrushed from this.

The Indonesian massacre of Communists and fellow travelers in the 1965-66, death toll in the hundreds of thousands, we don't know how many, is simply not mentioned even once in this book...the word "Guatemala" is not even in the index.

In fairness, East Timor — this was a genocide committed by Indonesia when they invaded in 1975 — that gets exactly one sentence. She even gets that sentence wrong, saying the US "looked the other way." In fact the US was looking right at it. President Ford and Henry Kissinger spent the night in Jakarta meeting with the dictator of Indonesia, Suharto, literally the night before. There was a kind of green light given, and they provided military training and weaponry...

What I found also kind of barf-worthy was some liberal handwringing after [the infamous picture she tweeted with Henry Kissenger] saying "oh, it's so sad how Samantha Power has really compromised her values, because that book she wrote about genocide was so good" ...

But I think Samantha Power's scholarly career shows an incredible lack of integrity. To leave out the genocides that her country and my country had a hand in borders on genocide denial. What would we think if a Polish intellectual wrote a 600-page book subtitled "Poland and the Age of Genocide" and then just somehow forgot to mention those death camps that were set up with some complicity of Polish people in Poland?

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Why Did Reality Winner Leak to the Intercept?

So Reality Winner, former NSA contractor, is in federal prison for leaking classified information — for five years and three months, the longest sentence of any whistleblower in history. She gave documents on how Russia had attempted to hack vendors of election machinery and software to The Intercept , which completely bungled basic security procedures (according to a recent New York Times piece from Ben Smith, the main fault lay with Matthew Cole and Richard Esposito ), leading to her capture within hours. Winner recently contracted COVID-19 in prison, and is reportedly suffering some lingering aftereffects. Glenn Greenwald has been furiously denying that he had anything at all to do with the Winner clusterfuck, and I recently got in an argument with him about it on Twitter. I read a New York story about Winner, which clearly implies that she was listening to the Intercepted podcast of March 22, 2017 , where Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill expressed skepticism about Russia actually b

On Refusing to Vote for Bloomberg

Billionaire Mike Bloomberg is attempting to buy the Democratic nomination. With something like $400 million in personal spending so far, that much is clear — and it appears to be working at least somewhat well, as he is nearing second place in national polls. I would guess that he will quickly into diminishing returns, but on the other hand spending on this level is totally unprecedented. At this burn rate he could easily spend more than the entire 2016 presidential election cost both parties before the primary is over. I published a piece today outlining why I would not vote for Bloomberg against Trump (I would vote for Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, or Biden), even though I live in a swing state. This got a lot of "vote blue no matter who" people riled up . They scolded me and demanded that I pre-commit to voting for Bloomberg should he win the nomination. The argument as I understand it is to try to make it as likely as possible that whatever Democrat wins t

Varanus albigularis albigularis

That is the Latin name for the white-throated monitor lizard , a large reptile native to southern Africa that can grow up to two meters long (see pictures of one at the Oakland Zoo here ). In Setswana, it's called a "gopane." I saw one of these in my village yesterday on the way back from my run. Some kids from school found it in the riverbed and tortured it to death, stabbing out its eyes, cutting off its tail, and gutting it which finally killed it. It seemed to be a female as there were a bunch of round white things I can only imagine were eggs amongst the guts. I only arrived after it was already dead, but they described what had happened with much hilarity and re-enactment. When I asked why they killed it, they said it was because it would eat their chickens and eggs, which is probably true, and because it sucks blood from people, which is completely ridiculous. It might bite a person, but not unless threatened. It seems roughly the same as killing wolves tha